Acclaimed choreographer Alice Topp and award-winning lighting designer Jon Buswell (the Technical Director of The Australian Ballet) have this week launched a new dance collective of independent artists under the banner Project Animo. Filling the gap between the company and freelance models, this new venture establishes an ongoing platform of collaborative exchanges between dancers, choreographers and composers, with the aim of sharing artistic outcomes with audiences right across Australia.

Alice Topp

Project Animo has no fixed ensemble but is focused on bringing together recently retired dancers and independent artists who have worked with major companies, such as The Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Chunky Move, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet and the UK’s Studio Wayne McGregor.

Dancers will collaborate with emerging designers and choreographers, including Topp herself, on a project-by-project basis, delivering innovative and original stage works that showcase Australian artistry and storytelling.

Speaking to Limelight, Topp explains that the project was born when her retirement from a performance career with The Australian Ballet coincided with the sudden shutdown of all live...